News

Mon
13
Sep

Council votes to stay in joint garage project

At least for now, the city of Ely is part of a $7 million plan to put public works operations of four entities - St. Louis County, Ely, Lake County and Morse Township - under one roof.<BR><BR>City council members voted 5-2 Tuesday, with Butch Pecha and Mike Hillman opposed, to commit $112,000 in city funding for the design portion of the joint public works garage project.<BR><BR>It will be several months before the council makes a final commitment to the project - which would include almost $2.8 million in city expenditures over a 15-year period - but Tuesday’s vote was pivotal, according to project supporters.<BR><BR>St.

Mon
13
Sep

Council tables proposal to buy theater building

Move over, Gone With The Wind.<BR><BR>The Saga of the Ely Theatre Building has lasted longer than any marathon motion picture, and the months-long controversy took another strange turn.<BR><BR>Days after city officials and building owner Gary Quigley reached agreement on a process through which the city could acquire the aging structure, city council members abruptly tabled the proposal.<BR><BR>The deal spelled out two options, one in which the city would buy the building for $145,000 and another in which the sale price would be set at $125,000, but council members decided against attorney Larry Klun’s recommendation to hold a special meeting to discuss the proposal.<BR><BR>“I don’t see any reason to explore either one of these options,” said council member Paul Kess.<BR><BR>The rest of the council followed suit, unanimously approving the motion to table.<BR><BR>Council member Mike Hillman said the issue could b

Sun
12
Sep

A guide to voting in the primary

If past history is any indication, Ely area voters will turn out in force for Tuesday’s primary election.<BR><BR>Some, no doubt, will be first-time voters.<BR><BR>Others may not be familiar with the rules associated with a primary election.<BR><BR>Combine that with a limited amount of pre-election advertising and voter education and some voters may be confused, perhaps even apprehensive, about going out and casting a ballot this week.<BR><BR>Here’s a guide to what voters, either those who don’t miss an election or folks coming out for the first time, can expect.<BR><BR>Where to vote<BR><BR>Polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.<BR><BR>Those outside of Ely vote at their respective town or city hall.

Sun
12
Sep

Council tables proposal to buy theater building

Move over, Gone With The Wind.<BR><BR>The Saga of the Ely Theatre Building has lasted longer than any marathon motion picture, and the months-long controversy took another strange turn.<BR><BR>Days after city officials and building owner Gary Quigley reached agreement on a process through which the city could acquire the aging structure, city council members abruptly tabled the proposal.<BR><BR>The deal spelled out two options, one in which the city would buy the building for $145,000 and another in which the sale price would be set at $125,000, but council members decided against attorney Larry Klun’s recommendation to hold a special meeting to discuss the proposal.<BR><BR>“I don’t see any reason to explore either one of these options,” said council member Paul Kess.<BR><BR>The rest of the council followed suit, unanimously approving the motion to table.<BR><BR>Council member Mike Hillman said the issue could b

Sun
12
Sep

City hopefuls engage in tame debate

For the current election season, Wednesday's public forum for Ely's mayoral and city council candidates was an anomaly.<BR><BR>Disagreements were mild, debate was civil, the audience was respectful and polite.<BR><BR>And in clear contrast to ongoing state and federal races, animosity was hard to spot.<BR><BR>Mayor Frank Salerno and challenger Roger Skraba, along with eight contenders for three city council positions, exchanged ideas and opinions - and found much common ground - during a two-hour forum at Vermilion Community College.<BR><BR>The sharpest comments in the event attended by about 55 people came from two of the candidates hoping to unseat incumbents.<BR><BR>Louis Kotzian, an employee in the city's public works department, called for new blood in city office.<BR><BR>"It's time for a change,"&#160;said Kotzian. "We need a new council.

Sun
12
Sep

A guide to voting on Tuesday

If past history is any indication, Ely area voters will turn out in force for Tuesday’s primary election.<BR><BR>Some, no doubt, will be first-time voters.<BR><BR>Others may not be familiar with the rules associated with a primary election.<BR><BR>Combine that with a limited amount of pre-election advertising and voter education and some voters may be confused, perhaps even apprehensive, about going out and casting a ballot this week.<BR><BR>Here’s a guide to what voters, either those who don’t miss an election or folks coming out for the first time, can expect.<BR><BR>Where to vote<BR><BR>Polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.<BR><BR>Those outside of Ely vote at their respective town or city hall.

Mon
06
Sep

New shop repairs recreational equipment

Recreation and vacation times are valuable and you want to be sure your boat motor, 3-wheeler, ATV or snowmobile purrs along. But when something goes wrong and you have to stop your engine, call Troy and Sheila at Ely Powersports and Repair. <BR><BR>Troy Tuhkanen and Sheila Mora-vitz have teamed up to rev up a new ATV, snowmobile and marine repair shop and dockside service in Ely. The business opened on July 5 on the west end of town sharing space in the old Mike Coombe Ford building where the Bear Center and Spirit of the Wilderness are now. <BR><BR>Troy, who is originally from Cotton, MN managed a business just like this for three years in Duluth. He intended to purchase that business but the deal fell through. And since his fiancée, Sheila Moravitz is from Ely and has a lot of family here, they decided to start the same type of business in Ely and have mostly family operating it.

Mon
06
Sep

Only city candidates to take part in forum

Just one of two candidates forums scheduled in Ely this week will go on as planned.<BR><BR>Ely’s mayoral and city council candidates have been invited to take part in a two-hour debate set for Wednesday (7 p.m.) in the theater at Vermilion Community College.<BR><BR>Scheduling conflicts forced organizers to scrap Tuesday’s forum, which was to include candidates for Minnesota House of Representatives seat 6A.<BR><BR>The public is invited to attend and submit questions to the candidates.<BR><BR>Format for the event includes opening and closing remarks by each candidate, and the opportunity to answer questions written by the audience, screened by a panel of four and then given to the moderator.<BR><BR>Several local organizations are working together to sponsor the forums.<BR><BR>The Ely Rotary Club, the Arrowhead Association of University Women, the Ely Echo, WELY Radio and the Ely Timberjay are all on board as spon

Mon
06
Sep

Morse plan impact could be felt by property owners looking to subdivide

It was the only the first draft but the new Morse land use plan generated some intense response at a public meeting Thursday night.<BR><BR>With over two dozen in attendance, Rudy Schoolderman of ARDC ran through the basics of the plan, which was originally completed in 1979 and updated in 1982, 1984 and 1988.<BR><BR>A Morse Township steering committee has been working on the plan for over 18 months. <BR><BR>The plan deals with zoning and more specifically lot sizes. The problem at this point is that the plan is difficult to read and finding out the impact on a specific parcel requires one-on-one discussion.<BR><BR>The plan does not indicate what was in place before, only what the new zoning changes would be. <BR><BR>There are multiple zoning levels on some lakes, making it difficult to determine what would or would not be allowed.

Mon
06
Sep

It’s festival time - again - in Ely

This weekend’s Harvest Moon Festival won’t have the crowds or the hustle and bustle of Ely’s summer Blueberry/Art Festival.<BR><BR>And that’s just how those organizing and attending the event seem to like it.<BR><BR>The 11th annual event begins Friday and continues through the weekend at Whiteside Park, and should the weather cooperate, as many as 10,000 people could attend.<BR><BR>A smaller version of the July Blueberry event, the Harvest Moon - sponsored by the Ely Chamber of Commerce - includes about 130 arts and craft exhibitors and food vendors.<BR><BR>That’s 10 more vendors than there were a year ago, but a far cry from the Blueberry/Art Festival, which has about 250 exhibitors.<BR><BR>“This is just more of a low-key type of event,” said Chamber director Linda Fryer. “There aren’t as many booths and there aren’t as many people and it isn’t as crazy down there as it is for Blueberry.

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